Sharing Poetry & so much more from Garrison Keillor and The Writer’s Almanac

It’s a morning ritual for me, to listen to Garrison Keillor and The Writer’s Almanac. There are facts regarding the day, the earth, and ends in a poem. Select the listen online option. This day was full of amazing facts.

♥ Anita

 

The Writer's AlmanacAmerican Public Media
Thursday, May 11, 2017 Facebook   Twitter
To the Woman at the Retirement Center
by Phebe Hanson

Listen Online

You tell me when you were eight, newly arrived
from Czechoslovakia, your teacher made you memorize
a poem that began “I remember, I remember
the house where I was born.” Stranger
to our language you proudly learned all the verses,
practiced them over and over in front of your mirror,
but at the program when you stood to recite
in front of all the parents and other students,
you got as far as “I remember, I remember,”
and forgot all the rest and had to sit down shamefaced.

Now you live in this ten-story retirement center
where you cried most of the first month, so lonesome
for your son, transferred to another city, who couldn’t
take you with him because his new house wasn’t
big enough. Sometimes, you tell me, you slip away
from the recreation director who wants to teach you
how to turn plastic bleach bottles into bird feeders,
sneak up to your room, turn on the Bohemian radio station,
dance barefoot all by yourself, as you used to

years ago in the house where you were born.
“To the Woman at the Retirement Center” by Phebe Hanson from Why Still Dance. © Nodin Press, 2003. Reprinted with permission. (buy now)

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